Watershed discipleship artist and theologian Bob Haverluck will be the artist-in-residence and keynote speaker at the upcoming conference Grounding: Ecology, Faith, Hope in Bracebridge, Ontario May 25-26, 2018, at Bracebridge United Church. All are invited to attend. This conference follows the Muskoka Summit on the Environment (May 24-25). You can attend both (total $200), or one or the other. (See below for examples of Bob’s art.) Read more
“A priest, a rabbi, a Hindu and a Unitarian walk onto a pipeline route…”
It may sound like the beginning of a joke, but this set-up describes a weekly blockade of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project near Vancouver, British Columbia, Coast Salish Territory. Salal + Cedar, a watershed discipleship community in the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster (Anglican Church of Canada), helped lead a blockade of the Kinder Morgan access road each Thursday in December, organizing an opportunity for an interfaith group to come together around the common goal of stopping construction of the expanded pipeline, and acknowledging a shared connection to the water, land, and creatures of their watershed and world.
The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project would “parallel the 1,150-km route of the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline, which was built in 1953 and is the only West Coast link for Western Canadian oil,” increasing the capacity from 300,000 barrels of oil per day to 890,000 (Kinder Morgan website). However, as Rev. Laurel Dykstra of Salal + Cedar puts it, “The proposed expansion project differs significantly in route [from the existing pipeline]. It crosses a whole ton of waterways and un-ceded Indigenous territory, where people have not been fully consulted, or have explicitly denied their consent.” The level of public outcry against this project has been significant, with letter-writing campaigns and well-attended protests and marches, but approval for the project has been pushed through anyway. As construction proceeds, it is time to move forward into a different kind of action. Of this moment, Dykstra says:
“To be at the outset of that different kind of action, to see where different voices will put their bodies, is an interesting and exciting time.”
An article by Elaine Enns is live now on Sojourners called “Becoming Unsettled.” In it, she tells the story of a region in Saskatchewan where she grew up, Stoney Knoll, a land that had been given to her Mennonite forebears by the Canadian government, and which by treaty belonged to the Young Chippewayans and other tribes from the region. She tells about the work toward restorative justice occurring between Mennonites and the Young Chippewayans since 1976. At that time, the Young Chippewayans began visiting their land, talking to the Mennonite farmers about the broken treaty, a situation Enns describes as “unsettling” for the Mennonites. Weaving in stories of Indigenous rights activism, efforts by Mennonites toward reparations, and the work of re-membering all the stories of that land and its people, Enns offers an example of one community working toward reconciliation in the wake of centuries of church-supported colonization. Check out the article, and allow Christ to speak to your heart about how to work toward reconciliation with the land and people in your own region.